Newcastle Thunder’s Alex Foster discovers length of ban for ‘assault of official’

Newcastle Thunder forward Alex Foster has received an eight-match ban for the “physical assault of a match official”.

Foster was sin binned during Newcastle’s recent Championship win over Bradford Bulls for pushing referee Michael Smaill while preparing to defend the try line.

The RFL’s match review panel took a dim view of the incident by giving him a Grade F charge, the most serious possible.

Foster challenged the grading but a disciplinary tribunal has found him guilty of the charge and he has been banned for eight matches.

With only eight games left of the season, the former Castleford Tigers player will play no further part for Thunder this year.

Meanwhile, Halifax Panthers’ Matt Gee has been banned for five matches for two separate offences involving dangerous contact, while Sheffield Eagles’ Joel Farrell has seen his charge for striking downgraded and only faces a two-game ban.

Cornwall’s Luke Collins is awaiting his tribunal hearing today (Wednesday) on a Grade F charge of homophobic language, as is Oldham’s Luke Nelmes for Grade D dangerous contact.